Approximately K50 million will be needed by the quarantine authorities to address the current incursion of coffee berry borer in the country.
Agriculture Minister Tommy Tomscoll announced this during a press conference held in Port Moresby on Wednesday March 15th, 2017.
“Currently, the Jiwaka- Division of Agriculture & Livestock (DAL), National Agriculture Quarantine Authority (NAQIA) and the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) are implementing a delimiting survey in the Eastern Highlands and Jiwaka provinces. This survey will help us understand the extent of coffee berry borer.”
Mr Tomscoll added that the survey was important as it would determine the scale of response, the method of response and the amount of resources including funding that would be required to manage, contain and eradicate the pest.
He reassured the industry and stakeholders that the situation was monitored with officers from DAL, CIC and NAQIA on the ground to identify how wide the pest has spread to determine the next course of action to be taken.
The Minister reiterated that the industry generates an average of K500 million in foreign exchange but in 2017, the industry generated K650 million. He highlighted that about seventy per cent of this income is spread to all farmers across the country.
He appealed to all farmers and people in the affected areas to take ownership of the issue, and abide and cooperate with lawful directives from authorities.
With the recent release of the national gazette on restricted areas and prohibitive measures, this will allow for the following to be carried out:
§ The trade and movement of coffee beans will be subject to inspection and cannot be transported into areas outside the restricted zones without certification
§ Quarantine spots are being set up along the highways and the travelling public and transportation vehicles will be subjected to quarantine search.
§ All exportable coffee is subject to strict scrutiny; hence, exporters are advised to comply with requirements.
Agriculture Minister Tommy Tomscoll addressing media representatives during the CBB press conference in Port Moresby on Wednesday, March 15th, 2017. Other photos show CIC with NAQIA and DAL officers conducting delimiting survey and awareness in the Banz area.